>>Tue Nov 9, 2010
I first realized I was a pitch junkie at the 2006 Israel Venture Conference hosted by the then WolfBlock Law Firm in Philadelphia.
I experienced this amazing energy every time I heard another entrepreneur’s story and his/her vision for how this business was going to be the next 100x return.
What struck me the most while listening to the Israeli entrepreneurs’ presentations was the conviction with which these entrepreneurs spoke about their life long dream to start their business. Really, if it’s anything that an entrepreneur must possess – it is undying belief and dedication to his/her product/service.
But regardless of this fervor, most did not sell the audience. And even though I was excited thinking about the potential of their patent-pending technologies, I found myself dozing along with the professional venture capitalists who were clearly assessing whether or not it was worth their time.
As I’ve heard countless pitches since then – from my classmates, to Israeli entrepreneurs, start-up non profit professionals – ranging from 30 seconds to 15 minutes – I’ve realize that it is an art to put together the perfect pitch.
And I am by no means an expert. I still struggle with my own presentation skills, but after sharing a bit of wisdom last Thursday night at the NYC Fellowship Pitch Slam (check out pictures and video here) I’ve come up with the following additional suggestions to master the perfect pitch:
- What is the pain? What is the horrible current situation that made you consider that your product/service/application/technology MUST exist?
- Make this pain PERSONAL. Relate this to your listeners.
- KNOW your listeners and tweak your pitch accordingly. Who is your audience? Do you know their pain? What are they looking to gain from your business? Are they a consumer? Investor? Collaborator?
- Explain SPECIFICALLY how your solution will address that pain
- Why is this solution better than current other solutions?
- Who are the people that will agree/or be sold that this solution is better than the current other solutions?
- How will you reach these people? Are any of them on board?
- How will these people reward you for alleviating their pain?
And beyond the specific message of the pitch:
Don't forget to introduce yourself! And make sure you end with a call to action and information for follow up.
To all you social entrepreneurs interested in applying to our Fellowship programs launching this January in Boston, Cleveland, Jerusalem, Philadelphia, NYC and Tel Aviv – use the application opportunity as the first step to perfect your pitch.
Check out www.presentense.org/cep for more information about our Fellowship programs and how you can take your vision for a better world and turn it into a reality.